Boy, am I glad the ridiculousness of smartphone patent wars hasn’t carried over to web search, because Google’s testing of full page previews illustrates everything that’s great about stealing another company’s ideas.
Some Google users are spotting full page previews today, according to Patrick Altoft at Blogstorm. This allows users to see important content from a website without clicking through to the link. Chunks of text containing search keywords are broken into orange boxes, and the entire page layout is visible from within Google search.
Clearly, Google ripped this feature from Bing, where page previews have been part of search since day one. So what? Bing does it differently, with simple, unobtrusive preview boxes that only draw out a few lines of text and other important details. Sometimes the imitation is better than the original, and sometimes it’s worse, but Google’s and Bing’s desire to differentiate themselves is always reflected in the product.